The Modern Back to School Finds You Need This School Year

07.18.22 | By
The Modern Back to School Finds You Need This School Year

No matter how you feel about the impending return to the classroom, I think we can all agree that nothing beats the sweet smell of new school supplies. Fresh planners, notebooks, backpacks, pens, pencil cases – these are things that get me up in the morning. Not to mention that they tend to dull the sting of looming assignments and deadlines. If you’re heading back to college, high school, are shopping for someone who is, or (like me) just want an excuse to treat yourself to new supplies you’ll love, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve handpicked the best in backpacks, stationery, tech, and more so you can go back to school in style. Visit the Design Milk Shop for more!


mariamaleta backpack

Vegan Recycled Fabric Backpack by Maria/Maleta

Made in Portugal using recycled fabrics, this sleek Maria/Maleta backpack fits all of your daily essentials (and a 13.3” laptop). Plus, the backpack’s innovative reversible design lets you switch up your look in a pinch – just pull the straps and elastics in the opposite direction to toggle between cool grey and rich camel colorways that’ll complement any outfit. This is a bag that’ll easily transcend back to school wear and become one of your favorite everyday accessories!

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poketo fuchsia plannet

Simple Planner in Fuchsia by Poketo

On top of this Poketo planner’s modern, mood boosting color options, the convenient, open-dated design offers the perfect level of flexibility – with yearly, monthly, and weekly layouts that’ll help you track short- and long-term goals and to-dos. Even better, the compact size and flexible covers mean you can bring this pocket planner with you everywhere without sacrificing space in your bag or tote.

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bentostack organizer

BENTOSTACK Tech Organizer by Function 101

Complete with four stackable layers, Function 101’s BENTOSTACK Organizer has a compartment for all of your tech accessories – from your laptop and phone chargers to your Apple Watch bands and AirPods. Plus, the bento box inspired design allows it to effortlessly transition from your desktop to the classroom without any fuss. Just stack its layers and wrap them with BENTOSTACK’s silicone band for a secure closure fit for commuting and travel.

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noted by postit top three notes

Top Three Mini List Notes by Noted by Post-it

Prioritize your most important tasks and assignments with these Top Three Mini List Notes by Post-it. Part of the brand’s new Noted line of desktop accessories designed to inspire and bring color to your workspace, the Mini List Notes stick securely to your notebooks and planners without leaving a sticky residue behind. Use them to track your most important tasks and assignments, or to write positive affirmations to get you through the day – however you put these colorful Post-its to use, you’ll never lose sight of what matters most!

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notabag backpack in picnic

Notabag in Picnic by We Are Out of Office x Notabag

Designed in collaboration with Netherlands-based design duo We Are Out Of Office, this limited edition Notabag brings the vibe of spring and summer picnics back to school. An ingenious combination of a tote and backpack in one, the Notabag can be work hands-free as a backpack or slung over your shoulder as a tote, all with a simple pull on the straps. The eco-friendly plastic bag alternative even folds into its own pocket for easy storage in your backpack, gym bag, or tote for impromptu purchases made before or after class.

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bookman bike let set

Curve 3 Light Set by Bookman

For those who bike to school (or work), dependable bike lights are a must. This set of USB-rechargeable bike lights feature a curved design for a wider projection of light, keeping you visible to traffic from every angle and enhancing your view of the roads for a safe and easy commute. Complete with a front LED white light, and a rear LED red light, this safe and stylish set will make for safer travel back to school.

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dearbeni pens

Colorblock Slim Pens – Set of 2 by Dear Beni

There’s nothing like a new set of fresh, smooth writing utensils to spruce up your back to school routine. And these slim, black ballpoint pens by Dear Beni are as smooth as it gets. The bright, color blocked design adds instant vibrance and playfulness to your desktop, and their sleek form feels comfortable in your hand. To get to work, just twist the pen to expose the tip. We also love the oil-slick look of their Rainbow style!

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IZO wireless keyboard and calculator

IZO Wireless Keyboard by AZIO

AZIO’s Wireless Keyboard is designed to bring a splash of color and modern, ergonomic forms to your workspace. Featuring fashion forward details like rounded corners, metallic and matte accents, and backlit keys, this technically designed keyboard will see you through all of the essay writing and note taking the school year requires. Compatible with both MAC and PCs, the IZO Wireless Keyboard connects to your chosen device with ease via Bluetooth or the included USB-C cable, so you get (write) to typing. For the full IZO experience, we recommend completing the suite with AZIO’s wireless mouse, calculator, and palm rest!

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dogu pencil tray

Dogu Pencil Tray by Graf Lantz

A personal favorite from Graf Lantz’s Dogu collection of workspace accessories launched in the fall of last year, the Dogu Pencil Tray is the modern pencil case upgrade you’ve been looking for. Made of a warm, vegetable tanned leather, the Dogu Tray fits all of your favorite pens and pencils, and looks good doing it. Complete the on-the-go workspace with Graf Lantz’s matching Computer Tray.

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society6 laptop sleeve

Mid-Century Abstract Shapes Laptop Sleeve by Ana Rut Bre Fine Art on Society6

Who says your laptop sleeve can’t be a tool for personal expression? This Laptop Sleeve designed by Germany-based graphic designer Ana Rut Bre stars a retro combination of colors, and mid-century inspired abstract shapes to help brighten up your school or workspace. The resilient, woven polyester laptop sleeve is durably built to last and is even lined with microfiber to prevent scratches when stowing away your laptop. Check out the matching phone case to complete the look!

$50 – $55
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design milk stationery set

The Ultimate Design Milk Stationery Set

To give your back to school kit a modern makeover, look no further than our very own Stationery Set designed in collaboration with Poketo in celebration of Design Milk’s 15th anniversary. This stylish stationery bundle has it all: 2 blank notebooks, a concept planner, a set of slim and smooth pens, and a sleek, stainless steel bookmark so you never lose your spot while planning and studying. This blank and open dated set is perfect for creatives who appreciate flexibility and expression in their planning, but still want to organize their days and ideas. And the entire collection is on sale right now – you can’t go wrong!

$89.60 (30% off!)
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takenaka x poketo bento box

Limited-Edition Ivory + Navy Bento Box by Takenaka Bento Boxes x Poketo

Master your back to school meal prep with the help of this limited edition Takenaka Bento Box. Designed in collaboration with fellow Design Milk favorite, Poketo, the Ivory + Navy Bento Box features a modern and playful abstract pattern on its lid that never fails to spark joy at lunch time. Complete with two airtight tiers, this chic lunchtime favorite will preserve the freshness and flavors of hot and cold meals alike. For more modern lunchboxes, click here!

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friendly reminder stickers

Friendly Reminder Stickers by Poketo

The perfect accompaniment to any notebook or planner, these Friendly Reminder Stickers are a great way to customize your school notes or daily schedule. Multicolored and bright, the stickers add a graphic pop to any page so your reminders never go forgotten. The pack includes 186 stickers for every category – from months and meetings, to symbols, dates, and even blank stickers so you can customize reminders to your specific needs!

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Shopping any of our back to school picks? Share your haul and tag us @designmilk to be reposted on our Instagram! 


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Alexa is commerce editor at Design Milk. She lives in Miami, Florida with her fiancé Alex and retired greyhound, Phoebe. A longtime art and design enthusiast, Alexa’s first stops in any new city are the art museums. When she’s not writing about her favorite DM shop picks, she might be buried in a book, binging reality tv or adventuring around her city with her partner and pup.